Martin Farquhar Tupper Poems >>
My Ode And Three Sonnets (As First Published On The Coronation Of Queen Victoria, June 28, 1838)
All joy to thee, my country, and my pride!
Be the glad muse my patriot lay to guide;
Suggest the thought, and lead the strain,
While, reaching at so grand a scope,
The weal of Britain's darling hope,
Our monarch of the main,—
With courtier phrase, yet honest heart,
I guide the poets' sacred art
To worthier ends, than had I sung
In the sweet-bitter words of Flattery's fulsome tongue.
Nobly through the sounding seas
Our gallant vessel ploughs her way,
Bending graceful to the breeze
Her taper masts and streamers gay,
And dashing from her prow the silver-crested spray;
While bosom'd out by these fair gales
All gorgeous, her heraldic sails
That honoured coat display,
Which no reproachful taint or stain
Hath sullied yet by land or main,
At evening's blush of rose, or in morn's eye of grey.
Well is she mann'd; her whole ship's crew
A patriot band, good hearts and true,
Will fight her to the last,
Into the battle let her sail,
Not one aboard her, but would nail
The colours to the mast:
Yon angel-pilot at the helm,
The guardian-spirit of the realm,
Is mild Religion's form;
While Hope above her, in bright sheen,
Holds out the legend, "Church and Queen;"
The magic signal that hath been
Her safeguard in each storm.
For "Britain" then, our gallant ship,
Let every heart and every lip
Raise high the thrilling cheer;
On the vast empire of her crown
The circling sun goes never down,
Nor looks upon her peer.
There sits the island Queen,
The good, the young, the fair,
The Lord's vicegerent, mild of mien,
Britannia's gentle heir:
And over her anointed head,
The virtues hovering there,
All sweetest influences shed,
And gild her jewelled brow with hallowing light serene.
Invested with imperial robe,
And holding forth the mystic globe,
Victoria sits enthroned;
While, flashing far from many a gem,
With Britain's triple diadem
Our virgin Queen is crown'd:
The trumpet's blast, the cannon's roar,
Spread the glad news from shore to shore,
Thund'ring thy welcome out,
And every heart new fervour feels,
As rings around in deafening peals
A nation's joyous shout.
So, the gay monarch of the Nile,
Sole arbitress of Egypt's fate,
To prove the triumph of her smile,
In golden pomp and beauty sate,—
So — but for this,— her glory was of earth,
A little tinsel of how little worth,
But thine, O Christian Queen, hath a more holy birth.
A vision of the deep:—
As o'er the western waves
Her course our good ship strives to keep,
Forth starting from their distant graves
Behold! a shadowy train
In royal robes along the water sweep,
And with attendant thousands throng the trampled main.
See, in long line the ghastly band,
Each stretching out her sceptred hand,
Hath hailed us in our course;
The sails flap idly on the mast,
The seas are dead, hush'd is the blast,
And, like a staggered horse
Checked in its charge by the opposing spear,
The gallant "Britain" stops in mid career.
Eldest of those royal dead,
Semiramis the Great,
Rais'd in the clouds her high tiara'd head,
As on her mighty throne the giant shadow sate.
And "Babylon is fall'n," she cried,
"For all her pomp, and power, and pride,
The God of nations she defied,
And where is Babel — where?
My state was swell'd by captive kings,
I lack'd not aught of earthly things,—
And yet the best the brightest brings
Is but a gilded care.
O royal sister, heed my speech,
To late Semiramis would teach
The littleness of power;
But that it gives thee means of good,
The richest triumph must be view'd
The pageant of an hour.
Thy people's weal regard thou first,
And hold those parasites accurst
Who bid thee seek thine own;
Nor less, their counsel false and ill,
Whose low-bred aim is basely still
To undermine the throne.
So shall thy kingdom stand,
Fair monarch of the main,
And all the plots by treason plann'd
Assault thy state in vain."
The shadow spoke, and melted in a cloud:
But in her stead, a cherub crowd,
With harps divinely sweet,
Pour forth their love in measured chime,
And tune their melodies sublime,
Our Sovereign Liege to greet.
And who is this in peaceful car,
With gold and spices from afar,
Of sage and sober mien?
Her brow is thoughtful, yet her cheek
Is bloomed with youthful beauty meek,—
To Thee sweet counsel would she speak,
O hear the Sheban Queen.
"Victoria, for thy tender years
I mingle with a sister's pray'rs
I see thee on the crest of power,
As, soaring high where eagles tower,
The soft and gentle dove;
Then, royal sister, hear my voice,—
From earth's extremest verge I came,
Smit by the love of Wisdom's name,
For Wisdom had I made my choice:
Wisest of men I went to hear,
But wiser far than man is near,
Queen, in His light rejoice.
While girt with pomp, supremely great,
In the full majesty of state,
Heed thou Him:
Circled by triumphs, or by fears,
Whether thy lot be joys or tears,
Seek thou Him:
Whether all glorious on thy throne,
Or in thy chamber left alone,
Hear thou Him:
Exposed to death and treacherous snares,
Or guarded by thy people's pray'rs,
Trust thou Him."
Hark! the horrid voice of war,
Nearer yet with dreadful din,
All tumultuously from far
Like a whirlwind, rushes in:
By the trumpets and the drums,
Swords and spears and warriors gory,
From the fight Zenobia comes,
Dauntless still, and flush'd with glory.
And near her riding, dimly seen
In scythed chariot, stern of mien,
Boadicea, British queen,—
Congenial spirits they;
For hearth and altar still they fought,
Nor deem'd the battle dearly bought,
Their own heart's blood could pay;
Reckless of self, each boldly bled
As her dear country's suffering head,
And dar'd the darkest day.
"Then hear us speak,
Thou tender Queen,
Whose heart is meek,
And eye serene;
For haply ere thy task is done,
Some foe to God and thee
Thy kingdoms fair may overrun,
Forcing to fight, — where he alone
Who fights and kills is free.
O mighty Sovereign, thou anointed head
Of all the good and great that earth can give,
Long may thy heart, to bloodstained horrors dead,
In plenteous peace, and chastened pleasure live;
But should some seeming friend, or foe,
Aim at thy crown the traitor's blow,
To lay the foul usurper low
Whether in bold ungodly vein,
They mock at 'Him by whom kings reign,'
To smite the base, the Belial train
Or whether some invading host
Spread like the locusts o'er thy coast,
Be this thy motto and thy boast,
Confident in her right divine,
And awful still in death,
All queen-like virtues brightly shine
In our Elizabeth;
And there she stands, majestic form,
Her enemies' fear, her people's love,
Stout as a rock, amid the storm,
But in the calm, mild as a dove.
Victoria, thee she counsels well:—
"Firmness must nerve the ruler's hand,
Thou sittest on that pinnacle
Of pow'r unchallenged,— to command!
Still, let the sunbeam of thy smile
Fall genial on the peaceful arts,
And by thy generous hand beguile,
Unknown to them, thy people's hearts:
Bid the poor artisan rejoice,
Blessing thy name with heart and voice,
For favour on his humble toil,
For daily bread, and wine, and oil;
Lift modest Genius from the ground,
Encourage Truth, wherever found,
And near thy throne place honest-speaking Worth,
So shall thy kingdom stand, and be a praise on earth."
And who art thou, with languid face,
Where melancholy's softest trace
Is mark'd upon thy mien?
Through the rent mist I note thee now,—
The coronet upon thy brow
Shows thee, not quite a queen;
In shining garments, like a saint,
I see thee lying, fair and faint,
Thy newborn babe beside,
Yes, mother of a moment's joy,
Thy sorrows did our bliss destroy,
When — royal Charlotte died!
And now thy hallow'd eyes
Are lifted up in pray'r,
Amid the triumphs of the skies,
Prevailing meekly there:
For her thou pleadest, that when Heaven's good will
Her cup of blessing yet shall higher fill,
And to the glories of a monarch's life
Add the dear comforts of a loving wife,
That name, the sweetest earth can give, be thine,
O happy Mother of a royal line.
For now, once more, Britannia's hopes are bright,
Refulgent in thy heavenly-borrowed light,
Victoria, gracious Queen,
Once more,— for Britain's longs to see thee, bride,—
May the full promise of a nation's pride
In one fair form be seen,
And then, with each domestic grace endued,
While for the glories of thy state
The wondering world shall call thee Great,
Be thou more lov'd at home,— Victoria The Good!
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Based on Keywords: tiara, semiramis, vicegerent, heraldic, arbitress, queen-like, boadicea, scythed, zenobia, bride-, queen-